Tom Beckett

Evidence of the Dao in daily life.

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My fellow Daoists, are some super natural or strong experiences in your lives that has made you realize that the Dao is real. I would love to know. For me it is in daily conversations with other people, whenever I follow how to Dao de Ching tells me to act it normally ends with me avoiding conflicts and being in a good spot. I wish though that I could actually feel the Dao like other people and learn to trust it like they do, though I am a novice and still have much to learn.

Edited by Tom Beckett

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Why should Tao be something supernatural or extraordinary? Clearly the world shows certain patterns, and that in itself is proof enough to me that the world isn't a complete chaos. Tao is simply a name given to the principle, final cause, reason or whatever that lies at the basis of the patterns we perceive in the world. An example are the laws of nature as studied by physics. Of course one can deny the existence of such patterns by taking refuge in some form of armchair philosophy, but in daily life we know better. You don't need to be a believer or initiate to recognize the existence of Tao, being a realist is enough.

Edited by wandelaar
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How do you follow what the Dao de Jing tells you to do?

My completely mundane, but interesting experience: when I keep my body calm, and my mind relaxed but alert, sometimes everything seems to flow well. I also connect to my 'gut' easier, and know the next step more easily and can draw upon my experiences to create new ways of dealing with things easily. 

I don't think that's the Dao, but it does show the importance (imo) of training your mind and body to be calm but alert.

Edited by yeq88
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Lao Tzu never told me what to do...but Involvement with Dao De Jing (and other early Daoist texts ) helped me develop my perspective, and has influenced my decisions and my approach to life over the years. 

 

I wouldn't call myself a Daoist though; I don't look good in the hat.

 

 

 

 

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Yes having a calm mind is crucial. I'm still too easily disturbed to always follow a TTC-like approach. And some will probably say I'm not a Taoist at  all. ;-) But in my experience the TTC teaches how to use the way things are (Tao) to accomplish what you need. To do that you have to develop a calm mind and an unassuming attitude, and you must be willing to wait for the right moment to act. It's futile to continually keep forcing the world to do what you want, however the dynamics of things is such that at certain moments minute actions can change the course of things almost without any effort. That's wu wei. It's not doing nothing but doing the minimum possible to achieve what you want in as unassuming a way as possible. In that way you will accomplish the most lasting results because less people will feel forced or humiliated. There is more to the TTC, but taking a soft, feminine, non-dogmatic approach is key.

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21 minutes ago, Sketch said:

Lao Tzu never told me what to do...but Involvement with Dao De Jing (and other early Daoist texts ) helped me develop my perspective, and has influenced my decisions and my approach to life over the years. 

 

I wouldn't call myself a Daoist though; I don't look good in the hat.

 

 

 

 

The Dao that doesn't wear cool hats is no Dao, my brother!! I once knew a sage who would constantly talk about how many hats they wore. They even had cool names like 'Father' 'Mother' 'CEO', etc. 

:P

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image.png.d6e869c834191d456785a68e8fa378fc.png A difficult look to pull off.

 

Adopting titles and the responsibilities that accompany them is exactly the opposite direction to the path I've been following over the years. 

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From my own commentary on the first part of the Dao De Jing;

 

All of this makes me picture

 a well-worn, maintained footpath

That was once a deer trail

which follows the contours of the land in such a way 

As to follow the watershed.

This is simply the natural way 

For all kinds of living creatures

to go, even without the obvious path, 

or markers of any kind.

 

A peaceful woodland trail

Created by all the varieties 

of movement along its length.

Dust motes in a sunbeam

Harmonize light filtered through trees

 

It very emphatically seems to exist!

 

It was all there

Before there were any blazes marking it.

 

I saw this while hiking along the Appalachian Trail.

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3 minutes ago, Sketch said:

From my own commentary on the first part of the Dao De Jing;

 

All of this makes me picture

 a well-worn, maintained footpath

That was once a deer trail

which follows the contours of the land in such a way 

As to follow the watershed.

This is simply the natural way 

For all kinds of living creatures

to go, even without the obvious path, 

or markers of any kind.

 

A peaceful woodland trail

Created by all the varieties 

of movement along its length.

Dust motes in a sunbeam

Harmonize light filtered through trees

 

It very emphatically seems to exist!

 

It was all there

Before there were any blazes marking it.

 

I saw this while hiking along the Appalachian Trail.


This is amazing! Right down my alley. It reads a bit like Han Shan, in spirit at least. 

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36 minutes ago, yeq88 said:

How do you follow what the Dao de Jing tells you to do?

My completely mundane, but interesting experience: when I keep my body calm, and my mind relaxed but alert, sometimes everything seems to flow well. I also connect to my 'gut' easier, and know the next step more easily and can draw upon my experiences to create new ways of dealing with things easily. 

I don't think that's the Dao, but it does show the importance (imo) of training your mind and body to be calm but alert.

 

I think that what you are describing is precisely a connection with the Dao.¬†We are always much closer to it than we realize. When the mind and body are clear, calm, and open we connect to our source. When we learn to trust this openness and what arises from that we are practicing¬†wu wei¬†which I like to define as ‚Äúnon-interference.‚Ä̬†

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8 hours ago, Tom Beckett said:

My fellow Daoists, are some super natural or strong experiences in your lives that has made you realize that the Dao is real. I would love to know. For me it is in daily conversations with other people, whenever I follow how to Dao de Ching tells me to act it normally ends with me avoiding conflicts and being in a good spot. I wish though that I could actually feel the Dao like other people and learn to trust it like they do, though I am a novice and still have much to learn.

 

Flood surfing . Highly illegal and dangerous .... dont do it folks !   But I used to - when a lot younger .

 

Padded plastic skateboard / BMX protection gear ( good for buoyancy too ) a helmet ,  hand swim fins .   If you DONT go with the Dao  ( the flow , the currents and eddies, the surges and stalls ... and more specifically be able to 'read ' all that before it  happens to you  so you know where to be beforehand  and position yourself , using the 'smaller forces' to position yourself as you enter the large ones, which you may have very little or non control over when you enter .

 

Of course, success is not through Dao alone ; one should know the territory , be prepared and fit for the the task at hand  ( fit - in more than one sense of the word ) and , perhaps mostly, have a big dose of damn good luck !

 

Just like 'real life' .

 

- or one could be ultimate Daoist in such circumstances .... sit at home and watch the rain through the window  ;) 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Sketch said:

From my own commentary on the first part of the Dao De Jing;

 

All of this makes me picture

 a well-worn, maintained footpath

That was once a deer trail

which follows the contours of the land in such a way 

As to follow the watershed.

This is simply the natural way 

For all kinds of living creatures

to go, even without the obvious path, 

or markers of any kind.

 

A peaceful woodland trail

Created by all the varieties 

of movement along its length.

Dust motes in a sunbeam

Harmonize light filtered through trees

 

It very emphatically seems to exist!

 

It was all there

Before there were any blazes marking it.

 

I saw this while hiking along the Appalachian Trail.

 

 

Well, I was stunned about this .  I assume it is true .

 

I was with some Aboriginal friends  visiting and we had just returned from  a walk with them  across the river, through forest and up to one of the waterfalls opposite my place . When we where chilling afterwards  ' Uncle'  said ; " We like walking in the bush with you . "

" Why is that ?"

" You follow the  small animal trails  and stick to the clear parts . "

 

  "   :huh:   ....  Ummmm , yeah .  And .... ? "

 

" Most whitefellahs dont do that ?"

 

" What do they do  ? "

 

" Well, they stick to the clear parts so their body isnt hindered by the undergrowth, mostly , but they dont pay attention to the ground , walking on the plants and the tiny  tree seedlings, clumping along in their boots , picking the worse way to go .  You where following a bandicoote track at one stage . "

 

" Ah, but you see, I live here, I got familiar with the surround, I learnt 'awareness and harmony' in this environment - eventually . I remember the first day I got here many years ago, I came to visit a friend. her house was pointed out in the distance.  I decided to make a 'bee line' for it, although I was advised to go around by road . All I had to do was cross a small gully and creek . I did and ran straight into a stinging  tree - which I never knew existed - until that day ! Took three days for my swollen forearm to go down and the pain  was still around a week later . "

 

- Thats another lesson !  Some people just seem to 'stomp through' life , with no awareness or consideration of the trail of destruction they leave behind them .

 

And similarly - I remember  being taught as a kid in history class about some great Aussie icons ; Blaxland, Lawson and Wentworth ... eventually found a way out the Sydney Basin, over the Blue Mountains to the west and 'opening up' the interior . Along with other 'great explorers' .... eventually they made friends with some Aboriginals that showed them the way through the mountains  , they been doing it for 1000s of years , and probably originally followed the animal routes . ( Most Aussie explorers either failed , died or where successful after being saved or helped by Aboriginals . )

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9 hours ago, Sketch said:

From my own commentary on the first part of the Dao De Jing;

 

All of this makes me picture

 a well-worn, maintained footpath

That was once a deer trail

which follows the contours of the land in such a way 

As to follow the watershed.

This is simply the natural way 

For all kinds of living creatures

to go, even without the obvious path, 

or markers of any kind.

 

A peaceful woodland trail

Created by all the varieties 

of movement along its length.

Dust motes in a sunbeam

Harmonize light filtered through trees

 

It very emphatically seems to exist!

 

It was all there

Before there were any blazes marking it.

 

I saw this while hiking along the Appalachian Trail.

 

Sooo beautiful a poem, I feel I am there right now!

I've spent quite a bit of time on the trail, mostly in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia,. 

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11 minutes ago, steve said:

 

Sooo beautiful a poem, I feel I am there right now!

I've spent quite a bit of time on the trail, mostly in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia,. 

 

I spent a lot of time on the AT in Pennsylvania and NJ over the years before hiking from Georgia to Massachusetts (with a new bride) back in '95. 

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On 2/22/2023 at 8:53 AM, Tom Beckett said:

I wish though that I could actually feel the Dao like other people and learn to trust it like they do, though I am a novice and still have much to learn.

For myself, I found that when I can "let go" of things - like, say, trying to control the outcome of a situation - I am more calm, relaxed, and able to be in the moment. That's when I feel more connected with the dao. So...releasing to advance, in a way, as counterintuitive as that sounds. I find it gets easier with practice. :)

 

 

Side note, very cool to see so many AT goers here! I have spent a lot of time on the trail myself, mostly in and around the Shenandoah area. 

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